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CN3 Convergence Device Debuts

BRINGING NEW MEANING TO CONVERGED DEVICES, Intermec Inc. in September introduced the CN3, a small rugged mobile computer that combines four radios with a scanner and camera. The CN3 enables mobile workers to swap the single-function devices cell phone, GPS unit, pager, laptop, camera they carry for a single device.

The device was expected to be available in December for use on the Sprint Nextel Corp. EV-DO Rev. 0 network, with Rev. A compatibility by mid-2007. It was expected to be certified on the Cingular Wireless network by the end of 2006 and on Verizon Wireless network in first quarter of this year.

The CN3 is a powerful, business-grade device, rugged enough for on-the-job use and full of the features enterprise users require, yet compact enough to slip into a pocket, said Barry Tishgart, director of product management for Sprint. Mobile workers everywhere will benefit from the CN3s ability to connect them anywhere, any time, to the information and applications they need and at EV-DO broadband speeds.



Photography courtesy of Intermec Technologies

In addition to its CDMA/EV-DO radio, the CN3 also includes a GSM/EDGE radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. An on-board GPS system and mapping software also provide turn-by-turn directions for mobile workers. The device can be configured with varying combinations of radios or all four.

Clark Richter, business development manager for Intermec, says incorporating four radios was an R&D feat; the company has applied for 67 new patents just on the antenna arrays.

Ruggedized and rain- and dust-resistant, the CN3 costs less (about $2,250) and is smaller (little more than an inch think and about 6.2 inches long and 3.3 inches wide) than typical rugged WAN mobile computers. Richter says the form factor was a critical consideration with the unit and is noticeably smaller and lighter than previous Intermec multipurpose handheld computers.

The CN3 has 128MB RAM and is powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 software with the Messaging and Security Feature Pack, including Direct Push Technology for wireless e-mail. It comes with a QWERTY keyboard or an optional numeric keypad.

The device also includes an optional 1.3 megapixel color camera with flash that allows workers to document assets and damaged goods records at the point of transaction. A 2D imager is embedded for scanning bar codes.

Richter says the battery lasts six-to-eight hours, but an extended battery will endure for eight-to-12 hours. The CN3 supports Intermec SmartSystems for remote installation, maintenance, application software updates, security adjustments and device settings.

Partners can source the CN3 directly from Intermec or one of its VADs, such as ScanSource or Avnet. Margins on the device range from 30 percent to 40 percent dependent on quantity and configuration. The device also is expected to be available and billable directly from Sprint in first quarter 2007. Dealers can activate wireless WAN service as a subagent for Intermec or through their own contracts with mobile operators.

Richter says the CN3 is ideal for mobile workers in field service or sales, transportation, direct-to-store delivery and health care. www.intermec.com


CN3-Ready Companies

  • Agentek, www.agentek.com: Real-time mobile field force automation solutions for drivers/technicians in transportation, logistics and field service.
  • BelTek Systems Design, www.beltek.com: Mobility solutions for business, featuring route accounting, DSD, field service, surveys, vehicle inspections and asset management.
  • Ceritar Technologies, www.ceritar.com: Integrated transportation (LTL, VL, container, sufferance), outsourcing and 3PL warehousing and financial software using GPS, mapping and real-time mobile solutions.
  • Cheetah Software Systems, www.cheetah.com: Optimized route planning, dynamic dispatch and customer service solutions for LTL trucking, B2B delivery, route accounting, courier and residential delivery.
  • GBG, www.gbg.com: Solutions for direct-to-store sales and delivery that increase revenue and lower costs.
  • InfoLogix, www.infologixsys.com: With more than 2,000 installations, InfoLogix is experienced in providing enterprise mobile solutions and managed services to retail, warehouse, field force and transportation industries.
  • MDSI, www.mdsi.ca: Advantex, MDSIs enterprise workforce management solution is the complete mobile infrastructure companies need to plan, schedule and execute all types of field work.
  • Mobile Computing Corp., www.mobilecom.com: Mobile field service and distribution solutions.
  • MobileFrame, www.mobileframe.com: No Code Configurable Mobile Applications Enterprise Software Platform for field sales and service, with integrated intelligent networking, prioritized synchronization, remote device configuration and management.
  • Nuway Software, www.nuwaysoftware.com: Innovative custom-built transportation, logistics and field service solutions.
  • Synergistic Systems, www.syn-sys.com: Integrated mobile solutions for the transportation industry, including city dispatch with dynamic route planning, cross-dock tracking, bill entry and yard management.
  • TeleCommunications Systems Inc., www.telecomsys.com: 20/20 mobility, providing mobile data collection, configurable forms and GPS services.
  • Trimble Mobile Solutions, www.trimblems.com: Mobile software for DSD, retail execution (merchandising) and equipment services management.
  • Velocitor Solutions, www.velsol.com: Custom mobile and wireless software solutions for field service, field sales, trucking and logistics, and transportation industries.
Links
Cingular Wireless www.cingular.com
Intermec Inc. www.intermec.com
Sprint Nextel Corp. www.sprint.com
Verizon Wireless www.verizonwireless.com

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